Archive for the ‘Caught on the News’ Category

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A short news reaction post from me this week, but first a simple quiz for my dear reader. Name the common trait linking the following anime series: Engaged to the Unidentified, Hana Saku Iroha, Toradora, and A Certain Scientific Railgun.

If you guessed that those represent “perverted and vulgar anime content undermining public morality”, you apparently guessed right. Or so say China’s state officials, as they banned Bili-bili’s apps from most shops until all such corrupting content is removed.

There is worthwhile if genuinely perverted content on that list, like KonoSuba (Blessings to This Wonderful World), No Game no Life or Prisma Illya. And then there is drivel like Hand Shakers. But I do not want to argue over an imaginary line of “value” that would make a title of exempt from censorship. If you can see Engaged to the Unidentified or Toradora as immoral, the work’s values probably are not your main concern.

Part of the official statements regarding the matter bring up another point: “[Bili-bili’s anime lineup] contains morally problematic content such as incest, with certain titles earning tens of millions of views”. Would those shows be tolerable if they were unpopular franchises instead? Since they are aware that they are blocking exactly what people want to see or are interested in, I can only see this as China’s very mature “sweep it under the rug” approach I have previously discussed in my fanservice entry.

I believe the state has the right and moral obligation to protect minors from accidental and unintended exposure to controversial material. It is acceptable to err on the side of caution in pursuit of that goal. But when limiting the fully-aware choice of your adult citizens, you can only only end up a hypocrite one way or another.

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Mangaka Akamatsu Ken has been preparing his new serialization for some time now, and it turns out his newest project will be strongly related to his previous manga – Negima.

The manga is described as a near-future battle fantasy and bears the title
UQ Holder! Pronounced in Japanese, UQ gives us Yuu-Kyuu (悠久), or eternity, making Holder of Eternity! an alternative English title.

True to the title, the story begins with a greeting from Negima’s resident shinsou vampire Evangeline A.K. McDowell, who describes the manga to come as a story of those who achieved the troublesome state called immortality. 

While many fans question the reason for the sudden ending of the Negima manga considering this quasi-continuation, I am looking forward to Akamatsu’s newest offering. What direction will the manga take? Will UQ Holder! answer some of the questions left from its predecessor? I am keeping my fingers crossed.

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This is a story from a long time ago.

The story of a girl, mahjong, and one more girl. 

Word has been out already that Ritz and Aguri liked working together enough to start another Saki-related project following the completion of Saki Achiga-hen, but so far we could only speculate on what the new serialization would contain.

Now the cat’s out of the bag – starting from 25th September, the Ritz x Aguri combo will start serializing a new story following the previous mahjong generation, most of whom we know as active pros appearing in the main story.

I am so looking forward to this. Already we have some new information regarding the power balance in the old Saki world, with Ms. Taciturn-pro showing up in a Shindouji uniform. Other things to look forward to:

  • The Legend-Grandmaster-Hayarin-Taciturn square-off featured above – one match to determine the strength tiers of half the known pros
  • Kokaji Sukoya during her ascent – the more we learned about her, the less we understood. Will the past bring us answers?
  • Harue during her prime – what are the limits of the perfect analysis-type player against ability users?
  • The ‘beloved by the tiles’ phenomenon – was it in full swing ten years ago, or is it something unique to the current generation?
  • Middle school Kouko fangirling over her future sweetheart. Harue’s yuru-yuri clubroom past. Come on, it’s Saki.
  • Hints regarding the master plot of the series – is somebody trying to fish out the supernatural players? If so, for what purpose?

Can’t wait till September!


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I’ve been keeping a low profile because of the ISML 2013 preparations I’m involved in – that will still take a while to wrap up, but in the meanwhile, have a look at the collection of Garupan-related photos that I picked up along the way.


Hana’s ikebana composition recreated at Ooarai’s Aqua World Aquarium




Tank cakes



Tank pork cutlet







Real tank rolls out in Ooarai

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RL Maus


Japanese wiki – number of hits to Maus (tank) page mysteriously (?) increases after the airing of a certain GaruPan episode.201303200059437f0s

Ooarai, under construction… but what’s the sign in the distance?


Damaged by tank shells, repairs underway (!?)


Ooarai All-girls victory celebration banner at Ooarai station

(visitors not watching GuP bound to be very, very confused)

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Thank you to the GuP staff for all the great moments. Here’s hoping for a second season! 

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Initial broadcast dates for the two final episodes of the Saki Achiga-hen anime have been announced:

Ep. 15 (AT-X) 2013.4.02(Tuesday) 19:30~20:00
Ep. 16 (AT-X) 2013.5.25(Saturday)19:30~20:00

The manga has recently finished it’s run, so watch out for spoilers until then.

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Yayoi: When I am a good child, mother smiles at me. I’m very happy when I see mother smiling.

So apparently, the Accel World –Kasoku no Chouten"- game features Kuroyukihime and Haruyuki’s child named Yayoi, which I find hilarious. Now I wonder whether this is an actual in-game development or just one of Haruyuki’s delusions xD.

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Recent interview with series director Ono reveals that the Saki Achiga-hen special episodes will continue until episode 16, one episode longer than previously revealed.

Well, the more the better. The more detailed the portrayal of a Saki match, the more impressive it is, so more time can never hurt. If only they had done Achiga in a two cour format to begin with…



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An Apology

Girls und Panzer episode 11, supposed to air starting 24th December, will not be completed in time, and episode 10.5 will air instead. There are many ways to call this kind of thing, but honestly speaking, it’s a recap. Furthermore, even the schedule for episode 10 has become tighter than ever. Under normal circumstances, drawings are finished grouped in cuts, and those cuts are later corrected via a process of trial and error. But it will be necessary to air without fully completing those adjustments.

As to why it has come to this, the fault lies in my naïve planning. It is because creating an original series made me greedy. While having to maintain a good balance and keep to a tight schedule imposed by a TV series, I wanted to show both the characters and tanks as much as possible. My selfish thinking brought about this result, causing quality drops and postponements.

I am truly sorry.

Regarding episode 10, a fully revised version will obviously appear on the BD/DVD release. Of course, the same goes for all previous episodes. I guarantee that when episodes 11 and 12 air, they will represent a level of quality that will satisfy all viewers. I have no right to make this request under such circumstances, but please wait until that day. I am repeating myself, but I am terribly sorry for disappointing everyone waiting for the broadcast.

At the same time, I would like to thank the many people who enjoyed Girls und Panzer until now. Their encouragement has been a great source of support for me as well as for the staff and VA cast involved in the project. Personally, I do not think that the ending of episode 12 will mark the end of this story. Sometime, somewhere, I would certainly like to present a little something to repay the fans for their support.

Mizushima Tsutomu    

The above is a translation of the most recent post on the director’s blog.The avalanche of comments from fans showing their support, including at least three comments form foreigners, is a heartwarming sight.


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AT-X station now lists ep. 12 of Girls und Panzer on its schedule for the 9th of January (Wed.) starting from 21:00 JST.

The release date of the episode had to be changed after the show’s initial airing schedule was pushed back a week following episode 5 because of production issues.

Whether the above-mentioned release date will be the fastest airing of the episode remains tentative.

At least it’s not a several month’s wait… (glances pointedly at Saki-Achiga).

EDIT: It now seems increasingly likely that we will have a several month’s wait, with a possible release around March… orz

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After a long, long wait we now know the initial broadcast date for the 13th episode of Saki, Achiga-hen.

The episode will air on AT-X channel on the 24th of December, starting from 23:30 o’clock.

There is still no officially confirmed information available concerning the release dates of episodes 14 and 15.

Saki, Achiga-hen is likely to be one of the series in my top 12 for kiddtic’s Ani-Bloggers Choice Awards 2012, so this should be a welcome reminder of the show’s strong points before the voting deadline.

As manga readers already know, the atmosphere surrounding Shiraitodai radically changes the moment Teru ends her match. Anime-only fans can look forward to some surprises waiting ahead.  

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